was back in training after picking up a toe injury in the World Cup loss to the United States. The Ghana team said Essien missed training Wednesday but returned to practice Thursday.
Ghana made the quarterfinals at the World Cup in South Africa four years ago, only the third African team to go that far.
African teams are under the spotlight at the World Cup after simmering discontent in the Cameroon and Nigeria camps. Cameroon’s players initially refused to board a plane to Brazil over what they felt were poor bonuses and Nigeria’s preparations have also been distracted by issues surrounding player payments.
Only one of the five African teams at the World Cup, Ivory Coast, won in the first round of games. Nigeria drew 0-0 with Iran and Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria all lost. Cameroon lost its second, 4-0 to Croatia, and is already out of the tournament.
Germany is likely to stick to the same formation without a true striker, which worked so well against Portugal when Thomas Mueller scored a hat trick. Captain Philipp Lahm will continue in defensive midfield, assistant coach Hansi Flick said.
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